Friday, April 27, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
A few observations...
(1) Lot of bang for our buck. It was only $20 which was unlimited games, soda, school quality pizza & ice cream bars.
(2) Allnighters/lock-ins sound really fun & cool to students. It must give students some serious cred at school to be able to say they stayed up all night.
(3) The prospect of staying up all night is way more exciting than the reality of doing so. Nearly all the students were grumpy, whiny & just wanting to sleep by about 3am. Be careful what you ask for. And it was BRUTAL on me from about 1:30am-3:00am. At that point I don't know what happened, something snapped and I got a second wind. I actually improved from there on out.
(4) Allnighters/Lock-ins such as this aren't the best for building relationships with students. I spent most of my time wandering around in a daze from the cacophony of the music and games and on the brink of a seizure from all the flashing lights. And I realized I suck at Frogger. Still. Anyway...save a few fun moments playing games with students for the most part everybody was off doing their own thing.
(5) McDonalds & IHOP. So the plan was to hit McDonaldo's after the Gameworks thing. Cheryl, being the thoughtful and wise woman she is, decided that she'd drive to McDonald's Friday night to let them know we were coming the next morning around 5:30-5:45am. They were not pleased that 50ish customers were coming. Which I don't really understand but whatever. So we show up at 5:40am and...they're closed. And they don't open until 6am. Huh? The manager Cheryl spoke to the night before failed to mention that they didn't open until 6am. Minor detail. Unless they thought were going to go through the drive thru. In a school bus. With 50 kids. Right. So we load the bus and head to IHOP. They have one server and insist that we all have to be on one check. Right. So we load the bus, go BACK to McDonalds and wait for them to open. Then it takes the better part of 45 minutes to serve our group. And we had told them we were coming. Isn't McDonald's deal fast fast food? Whatever. Customer service, where art thou?
(6) A good 5 hours of sleep sans dog & baby after staying up all night is SWEET. From 7:30am-12:30pm was sweet, sweet sleepytime.
After rising from the near dead I decided it would be a good idea to take Dylan to the dog park on this beautiful day, then grab some Starbucks for me & Cheryl (we need some more Sulawesi for tomorrow morning too), snag some baby Tylenol from the ubiquitous "drug store" and maybe take a bike ride in the afternoon. Great plan. Sounds like a good day.
Get to the dog park...mud world. We were their 14 seconds, Dylan was covered in mud it was squishing through my Chacos. Ugh. But hey, we're already muddy, let's play. So I throw her Frisbee* and it goes OVER the fence to the outside of the dog park in the REALLY deep mud. Ugh. So I jump the fence since I'm already covered in mud and retrieve Dylan's Frisbee, go to jump BACK over the fence and splat again in the mud. Trying to make the best of the situation we go to play. Dylan then relieves herself and I have to run to get a bag. A nice stranger in the meantime picks up her excrement, which is great because I'm not sure I'd do the same, and then I realize I don't have my cell phone. A short walk & it becomes obvious that my cell phone flew out of my pocket as I hopped the fence, landing smack in the middle of a mud puddle. Ugh. A few minutes later I was DONE with the dog park.
So I hose my feet off, try to spray Dylan and head to phase 2 of the mission: Starbucks. I order, it comes to $30 exactly, wow, amazing. Ooops, they only have ONE pound of Sulawesi though I just paid for 2. Oh, no, wait, there's another on the shelf. Woah. That was close. Oh, the drip coffee is empty, can you wait a few minutes for a fresh batch? Uh, do I have a choice? Alright, so I gather my coffee trappings and depart on to phase 3. Baby Tylenol. Then it occurs to me...how am I going to keep Dylan from getting into the coffee? Ahh, I'll just have to take the coffee out of the car and leave it on the hood. Great. Fantastic.
Now...I'm no expert in the field of drug stores but I would think that Baby Tylenol would be a product that would be a hot item, so I would keep it stocked. If I ran drugstore world. Walgreens 1: sold out. Sold out of brand name, Walgreens brand and anything else that would have substituted for Baby Tylenol. Ugh. Walgreens 2: one left. I had to punch a lady to get it. I'm just kidding about that part. But I would have punched a lady. I mean, this is at least the 2nd time I've gone to Walgreens and they've been sold out of baby Tylenol. Ugh. That's two stops, two putting the coffees on the hood.
And I spilled a little of Cheryl's latte but fortunately not on anything in the car. Nothing like the smell of rotten milk in the floorboard of a car. Mmmm...
But alas...the day is beautiful, life is good. Things work out. I bathed the dog (turns out you can clean them), I enjoyed my coffee, had some granola, things are looking up. And Sunday's coming...which is the best thing of all.
*Dylan's frisbee is SWEET. It's a Kong frisbee and it's the most durable of any frisbee we've had and it flys well. If you're in the market for a dog frisbee. THIS is the one.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I'm sure he gets it all the time for the stuff I do. Poor sap.
For the record this brian ferry also finds "the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent."
CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY
Click here if you don't know who THAT Bryan Ferry is and would like to find out.
Friday, April 13, 2007
so, thought you might enjoy some photographs from a series i like to call, "todd ferry and his dangerous moustache."
i warn you not to show your lady friends. they will salivate.
this moustache has the ability to impregnate women just by looking at it.
like i said, it is dangerous.
life is no way to treat an animal.
he had had enough.
one of the greatest minds of his generation went out from a fall, not pall malls.
kurt vonnegut is dead.
so it goes.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
What would happen if you took a premeire classical violinist & had him play in a Metro station in D.C.? Hmm...
Another interesting bit about this story is that I'm reading a book called Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die and one of the things they point out about journalism is creating a mystery at the beginning that you have to read through to find the answer. Yeah, they employ that in this article. So once you start you can't stop!
So say you're driving around and think of a great idea...Jott it. Call the number, say "myself" when it asks you who you want to jott and voila! There'll be an email in your inbox waiting for you.
Check it out: www.jott.com
It's free. Which I don't understand but hey, whatever.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
So Easter is good, right? Except that this year apparently Easter was cancelled in my family because James Cameron went and found the bones of Jesus. Thanks, Jimmy.
But seriously, worship this morning was solid. Got to play guitar at 9:30am, led the band & spoke at 11am. My first Easter speaking appearance. I am still trying to figure out why they let me do it. Easter's for the big dogs, for those who are skilled in the arts of preaching & inspiring, not ordinary ole youthworkers.
The highlights were: (1) getting to sing with Cheryl and (2) reading two Darwin Awards Honorable mentions. In church! He, he, he... Oh, and the whole Jesus providing us with new life because of the resurrection thing. I thought that went without saying.
So pre-noon, things were great.
Then we got home, Cheryl started packing for her trip to NC to visit her fam, which is great, but I was not so looking forward to spending 4 days without her and the Mekster. After solidifying plans a little more we figured out that her best shot of getting on a flight was today at 5:05. Right about now, actually.
So by 2pm she was packed, in the car & pulling away.
And in the meantime we'd heard that Papa was back in the hospital. Why won't those prayers take?
I've already finished one book, read quite a bit of another & am now catching up on reading blogs. Where's the candy and the toys and the baskets and rabbits and fake plastic grass that the dog gets into and then vomits on the carpet?
The perfect soundtrack for all this came up on the iPod: Anathallo's All Creatures of Our God & King, all brass. The French Horn rattles my soul.
In a bit I'll head over & watch the Masters with Rich & eat whatever he's grilling.
"I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die." -Jesus
Thank God for Easter. Making the dead alive & the ordinary extraordinary.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Andrew Bird ~ Armchair Apocrypha
Comments: I've heard that the only negative about this album is that it doesn't hold up to the previous two. I might agree with that, maybe. However...Dosh's contribution to the record cannot be overstated, in my opinion, Bird continues to develop great arrangements, unique instrumentation and takes listeners on a musical journey. I can't get enough of the tune "Plasticities." I would say this is absolutely, 100% worth the purchase & pick up Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs while you're at if you don't have it already.
The Arcade Fire ~ Neon Bible
Comments: As I mentioned yesterday in my post, this album is fantastic. I'm not ready to give them an A+ and knight them as the best band in the world, but they're great. This album is terrific. Wall of sound, great music, lyrics are solid. And, I mean, they use a pipe organ with all the stops pulled on one of the tracks. Some of the melodies and
beats are reminscient of 60s era pop but with a killer update. This album is a must have, in my opinion.
The Last Eyewitness: The Final Week (Voice)
By: Chris Seay, Lauren Winner, Brian McClaren et. al.
Comments: So this project means well & they do an okay job at refreshing & creatively retelling the story of Jesus last week on earth from the beloved John's perspective. It's kind of part new translation, part commentary via the voice of John and part devotional. Sometimes it tries maybe a little to hard? Great effort, the illustrations are interesting. I would say pick it up if you're interested in a way to have a fresh experience of Jesus' last week.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I was deciding between a manual drip (the Chemex) or a French, erm, Freedom Press. I sought a highly trusted opinion, and therefore at Brian's suggestion chose the Freedom Press--The Bodum Chambord.
Now, the first few cups of coffee were pretty good--a much cleaner cup than that terrible auto-drip--but overall quite underwhelming. The coffee's flavor really started to show through, too (I am using one of Jittery Joe's blends, Sundown, which is an ultra-pleasant, if not fairly mundane coffee).
My grinder, though, being a broken blade grinder would not even come close to grinding to the proper coarseness--huge boulders and super-fine dust. So I've held off until my new grinder came in--the Capresso Infinity. It's the best cheap burr grinder you can find, apparently, and I got it on special.
And I'll tell you what, it made all the difference in the world. It isn't the most terribly consistent grind, still giving a fair amount of dust. Nonetheless, it really lets the coffee's flavor come out. The cup I am currently drinking, the first with the whole new setup, is the cleanest, most flavorful cup I've ever had--which admittedly really only speaks to the mediocre coffee I've had up until now.
The final verdict on the Freedom Press is wholly positive. I would recommend this method to anyone looking for a cheap, easy upgrade to their coffee-drinking experience. It is a more "hands-on" process, but I feel it only adds to the experience--watching the slurry froth as it's stirred; pressing the plunger and watching the coffee take on its perfect brown-black tone.
It is super-clean, though, so it's a strange transition from a drip maker. But without a true point of comparison, this stands as my current preferred method.
So I've been listening to the Arcade Fire's Neon Bible a TON lately and frankly, it's fantastic. I've been a little reticent to like them since:
(1) they're purportedly the best band ever in the entire cosmos
(2) they snubbed Bono saying they were too tired
(3) I didn't really like Funeral
Too tired to meet with Bono? Uh...
Anyway...all that being said, Neon Bible is FANTASTIC. It's thick with instrumentation but not overdone. They've got their own wall of sound. And the songs are simple and catchy without being trite. I don't know man, they're great.
And Neon Bible is a great soundtrack to write an Easter message to. By the way, what in the world am I supposed to say on Easter Sunday? I mean, Easter is for the big dogs. Should I write a rhyming poem? Do an interpretive dance? Frankly, I would LOVE to speak in a bunny suit. Does anyone have one?
The great thing about the randomness and fluidity of life is that while doing some sermon prep and reading Pastor Mark's sermon iTunes can throw down a little Billboard Top Hits 1983, which includes some sweet, sweetness starting with Down Under by the Men at Work, right into Africa by Toto. Oh yeah.
So pick up Neon Bible if you haven't already. You can snag it at emusic too.
Ooh...Total Eclipse of the heart just came on, I'm out.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
A Medical First @ Oktoberfest (September 2002, Germany) Three doctors from a Munich clinic published the following account in a highly respected medical journal. The man in question disqualified himself from a true Darwin Award by being smart enough to go to a hospital and admit what he'd done. The report is quoted directly from the journal, with the addition of bracketed "translations" that clarify the medical jargon.
"A 31-year-old man was admitted to the emergency unit with severe abdominal pain and vomiting for two hours. [He'd been sober enough to notice a problem for the last two hours.] An abdominal radiograph disclosed intestinal obstruction, and a small bowel follow-through study revealed a filling defect in the right-side jejunum. [His gut was backed-up because something was stuck in it]. Persistent exploration of the patient's history [he *really* didn't want to talk about it] disclosed a visit to the Munich Octoberfest the night before, during which the patient had ingested a condom filled with beer. [No, we don't know why, either].
"Upper endoscopy was unsuccessful in removing the condom. [We couldn't budge it.] Because the condom was localized close to the abdominal wall, it was finally punctated with a long needle under CT control. [We stuck a really big needle in it, and it burst.] Forty milliliters of a yellow clear liquid [we can't say in print that it was beer, because we were laughing so hard we didn't think to send it to the lab] were drawn off when the condom slid forward spontaneously. The next morning, the condom was identified in the patient's stool [a high-quality, leakage-resistant condom, showing that the man was at least attempting to nullify his influence on the gene pool,] and the patient was discharged in good condition."
The authors note, "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on intestinal obstruction caused by ingestion of a condom filled with an alcoholic beverage, and its successful transcutaneous treatment. [Hey, we always wanted to be the first doctors to do *something*!]"
i have just recently come out of a very interesting and strange predicament.
i have been placed in charge of tiling the addition we have recently built onto my boss's house. yeah, a little stressful putting the floor in your boss's house when he himself is an expert oin the subject and you are nothing more than a kid with a tool belt and an unthinkable dream.
well, the other morning at about 8 a.m. in the confusion of my mixing the required quick-setting mortar for the job, i dropped an open bag on myself just as it started to rain and spent the next 46 hours as a statue. just as the mortar was hardening i had the presence of mind to adjust myself into a majestic position becoming of a statue and bowed my legs as though to straddle an invisible horse and threw my right arm in the air as if to swing a sword (because i was unable to move my hand or fingers freely at that point, i am afraid that it came off unintentionally, though decidedly, like a "heil hitler"). luckily, a woodpecker-art-critic started chipping at my face and i was eventually able to resume my work - but now at 6 a.m., 2 hours before i had begun. nothing like getting to work early.
I mean...seriously. Just look around the site a bit.
But wait! This is for WOMEN! My dream to produce Eschatology for MEN may still come to fruition!